As I'm forty-one years old in a few days (you can see my Amazon Wishlist if you want to buy me a pressie!) I thought I'd take a look back at the songs which were number one in the UK chart each year on my birthday.
Today I start with the 1960's.
1966: The Beatles - "Yellow Submarine"/"Eleanor Rigby"
August 18 for 4 weeks
They ruled the charts for the whole decade, but they were only ever number one on my birthday once. Eleanor Rigby is a marvellous song. Short and redolent of lost lives with those mournful, stabbing cellos throughout. Yellow Submarine is a silly, sing-a-long for kids. Only The Beatles could have a hit with a kids song and remain cool and relevant, and only they could get away with such a sublime combination of styles on a double A-side. It wouldn't happen today.
1967: Scott McKenzie - "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"
August 9 for 4 weeks
Here's a hit which sums up the state of the world at the time. If you watch a documentary about the 1967 'Summer of Love' you can almost guarantee that this song will be featured in the soundtrack.
1968: Crazy World of Arthur Brown - "Fire"
August 14 for 1 week Now, Arthur really was a bit crazy! Set himself alight several times performing this number. Not sure what he's up to now, though I know he did sing one of the tracks on the Alan Parson's Project debut, "Tales of Mystery and Imagination".
1969: Rolling Stones - "Honky Tonk Women"
July 23 for 5 weeks
This song has one of the great drumbeat intros. A lazy, laid-back, loping figure which totally gives away Charlie Watt's jazz roots. And it's got a cow-bell in it, yet it's still good to listen to. Mick Taylor changed the arrangement from country to blues and Keith Richards "borrowed" an open-G tuning from Ry Cooder to come up with the distinctive riff. A top song, though many involved with the Stones don't like it.